In a surprising turn of events, Sindh Caretaker Chief Minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar has intervened to halt the implementation of a proposal seeking removal of the chairmen of Sukkur, Mirpurjhas and Hyderabad matric boards over the allegations that they were appointed on political grounds during the previous government’s tenure.
In addition, a new proposal has been submitted to the CM, recommending transfer of the chairmanship of the Karachi intermediate, technical and Nawabshah education boards to either the vice-chancellors (VCs) of the public universities in respective cities or Grade-20 officers from the Sindh education department.
However, the case of Dr Akhtar Baloch, Benzair Bhutto Shaheed University Lyari’s (BBSUL) vice-chancellor, has been put on hold. Dr Baloch has been on forced leave for two years, with rumours circulating there is a plan to retire him during this period. The situation has raised eyebrows of some critics who are questioning the motives behind such decisions by the caretaker government.
According to reports, the administrative situation in the Karachi inter and technical boards has deteriorated since the removal of their chairmen, controllers and secretaries. This has resulted in significant delays in salary disbursement and issuance of examination results, impacting the morale of the boards’ employees.
The new proposal suggests removing Dr Farooq Hasan as the chairman of the Nawabshah board and transferring the position to a VC. Interestingly, Hasan is already the VC of Sakrand University. This raises questions over the logic behind the proposed reshuffling mechanism.
The controversy has deepened with reports alleging that a former secretary of universities and boards had asked Dr Hasan to make a specific appointment. Upon refusal, the secretary suspended Hasan, who was reinstated following a legal remedy. Subsequent changes in the secretarial roles and the appointment of a section officer in the universities and boards department have further fuelled the speculations.
The News attempted to contact Noor Muhammad Samoo, secretary universities and boards, but he redirected the query to Rasheed Channa, the CM’s spokesperson. Samoo's phone was switched off after the conversation with the scribe. Channa said: “All chairmen will be removed and I will tell you later about the matter of the BBSUL VC.” Several days have passed, but the CM’s spokesperson has not responded back on the matter.